Foliar disease in persimmons and figs

There is a foliar disease ravaging a part of my yard. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It seems very virulent whatever it is. Everything was fine on Saturday and now whole branches seem to be wilting away. Does anyone know what this is and how to treat it? It seems like a fungus because I see what looks to be sporulation on infected tissues. It is infecting kaki, hybrids, American persimmon, and figs. EDIT: Trees that have more Japanese beetle damage seem to be showing more symptoms. Perhaps the beetle damage is opening the trees up to infection.

Fig leaf damage

American persimmon shoot completely wilting as if it was a pear dying of fireblight.

Damage on hybrid persimmon

Damage on kaki including fruit!

More damage on kaki

I guess I won’t be sharing scions this winter. This is a malady that needs to be contained!

Any advice is much appreciated.

1 Like

It could be multiple diseases made possible by the same environmental / cultivation conditions.

I am sorry to see such mysterious damage.

Will you be able to reach out to your local extension service for diagnosis?

Hope someone can help you identify the problem(s) and help you with some solution.

1 Like

Some of it reminds me a little of extreme fire blight on apples or pears… but I am not sure what it is.

I do hope you can get it figured out and find something to help.

Good Luck !

1 Like

Andrew, sorry you’re having these issues. Some of the symptoms strongly resemble “web blight” aka rhizoctonia aerial blight. I’ve seen similar lesions on figs. The centers often fall out of the affected lesions—and, in bad cases, infected leaves will shrivel and adhere to other leaves and stems. R. solani is an opportunist and will infect a lot of different species. Can infect fruit, too.

Brent @hoosierbanana posted some good pictures of the disease on figs a few years back: Show Off Your Figs and "This year Harvest" - #37 by hoosierbanana


Interesting call on this one, Jeremiah. I took a few more pictures of the damage.

This is a fig in a pot by one of the infected persimmons.

Here is another fig that had absolutely no damage last I checked during the holiday weekend. It’s by another infected persimmon.

Here is a potted pawpaw graft under a different infected persimmon.

This disease seems to infect a lot of different stuff! Here are some infected beans.

Perhaps there are different pathogens involved as Richard suggests or it could all be the same thing. Whatever it is, I’ve never seen anything like it until this year.

1 Like

Hmmmm. Web blight can indeed do serious damage to beans. Has the weather been pretty wet lately? Seems I see it mostly in damp weather. Lot of times I see it first on low foliage that’s near the grass: grass seems to often harbor it.

But it could indeed be a complex of problems. And you’re likely right about the Japanese beetles stressing them and making them more susceptible to whatever this is. The beetles have been a little worse than usual here this year.

Is it possible that each plant is being affected by its own thing? Like the fig might be getting hit by fig rust?

Yes! It rained quite a bit the past couple weeks. It actually all appeared after a big storm. The trees that are affected are in a sheltered part of the yard that probably doesn’t get as much air movement as the other parts. Also, lower branches are more affected. They’ve all been sprayed today and I gave those beetles some poison too. We’ll see how the trees fare. Hopefully some aren’t completely lost.

Quite possibly! However, fig rust presents a bit differently from what I’ve seen. It also doesn’t develop practically overnight or spreads so rapidly like this malady. Only the figs next to the infected persimmons showed these symptoms. I’m not ruling anything out though.

1 Like

Could be fungus due to the wet conditions. Can you spray some antifungal on a few trees to see if that helps like a trial run.

1 Like

No trial, Tony. Everything that looks infected, anything nearby, and grass underneath was sprayed. I am plucking off all damaged leaves tomorrow. This is too scary!

1 Like

They didn’t get hit by spray? Having the same burnt holes on completely different plants (pawpaw and persimmon) would make me wonder. Paraquat for example can do that.

That does seem suspicious doesn’t it? However, I don’t spray such things in my yard, and there is plenty of healthy vegetation between my affected trees and the neighbors including other persimmons and pawpaws. It’s literally a straight row of 3 main trees (nonastringent kaki) close to the east side of house and the little potted ones underneath or in between them that are affected. The main trees affected are on the shorter side at 8-10 feet tall and more damage is closer to the ground than at the tops.

1 Like

Yes, just a thought I had since the damage seemed the same. I’ve had drift injury from ag spraying where it kills spots in the leaves.

1 Like

Scary stuff Andrew! I hope your treatment gets it all under control and you don’t lose any trees. Keep us posted.

1 Like

I wonder if your persimmons are facing verticillium wilt. I haven’t read/looked at @JeremiahT 's link.

In the meantime, I’ve texted one of the dendrologist’s for the International Oak Society whom also cares for all the trees in a large city’s Parks and Recreation Department. I hope to hear from him soon. Those crunchy leaves look exactly like verticillium wilt. I’ve experienced it on Apricot and Shantung maple and it was proximity-based. They were 40’ apart is my guess… from what I remember.

Have you cut the stems to see what they look like inside? Stems with Vert. Wilt have olive green discoloration behind the bark.

1 Like

I think you have Septoria Leaf Spot going on that is non-connected to the persimmons. We’ll see what happens, what the answer(s) is/are.

…Along with symptoms being shown of mineral deficiencies.

They’re struggling so insects especially are going to take over your place. Pretty soon you won’t know what caused what. Right now I’d say you have bacterial issues on leaves and your persimmons have Vert. Wilt.

See ya later- hopefully soon.

This is a systematically approach. Start with leaves, pluck/remove. Then branches and systematically cut them while sterilizing between cuts 'till you get to healthy looking wood again. And then tar it up real good & see what happens.

Continue the Immunox…

This is the approach I would consume my time with.


1 Like

Good Morning!
I noticed these yellow and black blotches on about 20% of my chocolate persimmon leaves. The fruit looks ok at the moment. We have had a very hot and dry weather for the last few weeks.

Any idea whether this is a disease or a mineral deficiency? I do not see it on the other trees at the moment.